This year, the Santa Claus Bird Paradise in Antalya’s Demre area has once again attracted flamingos. Three flamingos visited the wetland this year, where they have lived since 2016. Prof. Dr. Ali Erdoan, an ornithologist, remarked, “Flamingos are now this wetland’s primary inhabitants. These pioneers who arrived first are. The quantity, in my opinion, will rise.”
The Demre Municipality designated and certified the 1000 hectare marsh as a “Santa Claus Bird Paradise” in 1989. In Santa Claus Bird Paradise, where more than 150 bird species reside as nomads and settlers, in varying numbers and at various seasons, flamingos have begun to arrive since 2016. Three flamingos originally arrived in the area in 2016, and three more returned in 2018–2019. This number raised to 6 in 2020. Mid-May of the previous year saw the mass departure of 9 flamingos that had visited Santa Claus Bird Sanctuary. About a week ago, 2 flamingos from this year visited the Santa Claus Bird Sanctuary. There were three flamingos in the vicinity two days ago, up from one.
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Professor Dr. Ali Erdoan, a longtime researcher in Santa Claus Bird Paradise and a lecturer at the biology department of Akdeniz University’s faculty of science, said:
“Now flamingos have become the main members of this wetland. These first-come-to pioneers are. I think the number will increase more. Santa Claus Bird Sanctuary is one of the rare surviving wetlands in Turkey. There is a sufficient supply of food for birds. Under the voluntary protection of the people. This is very important.”
The yacht’s captain, Nilgun Ahahin, who is continuously observing the birds, said:
“This bird paradise is the natural beauty of our country, Demre. Many species of birds live here. For the last 7 years, flamingos have also been coming. Flamingos added color and beauty to this place. Our duty is not to disturb them, but to protect them.”